Solutions to Your Small Law Firm or Solo Practice Challenges: A 3-Part Series

MAR 20, 2023 | PRACTUS LLP

Solutions to Your Small Law Firm or Solo Practice Challenges: A 3-Part Series

Authored by Valerie Spengler

Launching a law firm can be intimidating as you jump into the unknown. There is so much more to running a firm than simply practicing law, and challenges arise within each aspect of managing a small business.  

We’ve experienced these challenges throughout our growth and implemented some innovative solutions to balance a small workforce with the seemingly never-ending tasks involved with law firm management. And, we want to share them with you!  

This 3-part series shares insights into challenges firms face followed by actionable solutions from key members of our Practus team. 

Part 1: Growing your book of business by VP of Marketing, Valerie Spengler

business growth from clients

In part 1 of this series, we cover how to grow your book of business in today’s digital world. Technology and the strategic use of digital content means you can more efficiently reach the right network of clients right from your computer. 

Of course, as a small law firm, you can’t do it all. This article discusses when it’s best to leverage outside partnerships, which content is best created yourself, and the types of online content that resonate best in the legal industry.  

You’ll get examples of content you draft yourself such as: 

  1. Landing Pages that direct your reader to take a specific action, leading to more contacts and/or newsletter subscribers. 
  1. Biography Pages where people can dive deeper into each attorney’s experiences to see whether or not they’re a good fit. 
  1. Website Home Page designed to highlight your law firm as a whole while encouraging them to explore more about your firm, the type of law you practice, and your team. 
  1. Newsletters to keep your law firm top of mind by sharing firm updates, helpful content, and important announcements. 

Learning how to leverage outside partnerships can take your digital presence to the next level quickly and strategically. The key is knowing where they can have the greatest impact in projects like:  

  1. Legal Blogs written by a ghostwriter with attributed authorship to attorneys so that you can highlight yourself as a thought leader with optimized pieces of content without spending time crafting the perfect blog on top of your daily responsibilities. 
  1. Systems Development contractors that help set your law firm’s technology up for success from the start by implementing backend coding, analytics, and more. 
  1. Social Media that requires daily time commitment and consistency can more efficiently be handled by a social media manager to reach a broader audience. Most law firms find great success reaching new attorney candidates and potential clients after stepping up their LinkedIn presence. 

You can get more examples and a step-by-step comprehensive approach here.

Part 2: Administrative management by VP of Firm Administration, Sandra Haislet

administrative management solutions

Whether you’re transitioning from BigLaw to a small firm or launching a solo practice for the first time, the administrative tasks that now require your attention will increase significantly. Many small firm practitioners end up spending more time on admin tasks than practicing law, but it doesn’t have to be that way with the strategic use of legal technology. 

Part 2 of this series focuses on three elements of firm admin that tend to be the most challenging for small firms: 

  1. Software Systems you’ll need to get your firm running smoothly. Choosing the right software systems and learning how to correctly implement them into your firm’s daily practice can seem overwhelming. This article lists types of software you’ll need and considerations to create a modern law firm.  
  1. Invoicing Collection is one thing almost no attorney enjoys dealing with but it’s also the only way to keep your firm financially in the clear. Invoicing is actually an important part of the attorney-client relationship and having gaps in this system can give a negative impression to clients, so leveraging outside partnerships and hiring a collections team that works seamlessly with the attorneys and clients is a must.  
  1. Building Support Teams will help you and your attorneys avoid the burnout that can come with the added responsibilities of a small firm. Knowing you have the resources and comradery to support each other will build your firm’s reputation and improve attorney work product in the long run.  

You can get more actionable steps and solutions in part 2 of the series here.

Part 3: Building a community by VP of Operations & Culture, Tracey Watson

paper people cut-out representing 
building community

Law firm culture and the community within your firm will be the reasons attorneys stay after joining. A negative culture is also one of the main reasons people will leave, so you should focus on this as a solo practice/small firm instead of putting it on the back burner.  

This article will show you how to: 

  1. Create a social legal network: whether online or in person at conventions, your legal network is out there. Creating a network of trusted attorneys where you can refer work or brainstorm ideas off of will make life at your solo/small firm much more enjoyable. 
  1. Develop culture & community: you can develop a law firm culture no matter how small you are, and it will help you significantly in the long run. Create your mission statement, think about your values, and envision the future of your law firm to start building this culture.  
  1. Build a support system: creating an environment with a strong internal support system means your law firm will encourage open discussions and a true team instead of a “every man for themselves” environment. This article goes into more detail about how you can leverage joint engagements, freelancers, and regular checkups to make sure your team is supported.  

Regardless of the size of your firm, you can start taking these steps to ensure the longevity and satisfaction of your practice. You’ll find recruiting top talent and expanding is much easier with an established sense of community. Attorneys will collaborate more, stay longer, and provide better work product for their clients when they have the tools and resources to do their best work.  

Learn more about building a community here.  

The legal community can feel big and small all at the same time. It’s a field where people tend to have one degree of separation at most, but it’s also a field where you can find yourself working in a silo. Taking steps towards growing your book of business, implementing strategic admin tools, and establishing culture will not only alleviate the lonely side of law, it’ll also help grow your firm into a legal business that people want to join. It takes work, but it’s worth it!  

If you’re looking for a way to join an established law firm culture and community, consider joining Practus! Reach out to our VP of Recruiting, Stephanie Recupero, to learn more.  

The Authors
Valerie Spengler
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Practus, LLP provides this information as a service to clients and others for educational purposes only. It should not be construed or relied on as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking advice from professional advisers.

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